[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 180 (Tuesday, September 17, 2013)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 57047-57049]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-22295]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2013-0119; Directorate Identifier 2011-SW-034-AD; 
Amendment 39-17541; AD 2013-16-03]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; Eurocopter France Helicopters

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for 
Eurocopter France (Eurocopter) Model AS350 and AS355 helicopters, to 
require inspecting for a crack in the control lever attachment yokes, 
and if needed, replacing the tail rotor gearbox (TGB). This AD is 
prompted by improper casting of TGB casing assemblies, which may lead 
to cracking. A crack in the control lever attachment yokes could cause 
a loss of tail rotor pitch control, and consequently, loss of control 
of the helicopter.

DATES: This AD is effective October 22, 2013.
    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by 
reference of certain documents listed in this AD as of October 22, 
2013.

ADDRESSES: For service information identified in this AD, contact 
American Eurocopter Corporation, 2701 N. Forum Drive, Grand Prairie, TX 
75052; telephone (972) 641-0000 or (800) 232-0323; fax (972) 641-3775; 
or at http://www.eurocopter.com/techpub. You may review the referenced 
service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, 
Southwest Region, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Room 663, Fort Worth, Texas 
76137.

Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov or in person at the Docket Operations Office 
between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal 
holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the foreign authority's AD, 
any incorporated-by-reference service information, the economic 
evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street 
address for the Docket Operations Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is U.S. 
Department of Transportation, Docket Operations Office, M-30, West 
Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., 
Washington, DC 20590.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Robert Grant, Aviation Safety 
Engineer, Safety Management Group, FAA, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Fort Worth, 
Texas 76137; telephone 817-222-5110; email robert.grant@faa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Discussion

    On February 11, 2013, at 78 FR 9634, the Federal Register published 
our notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM), which proposed to amend 14 
CFR part 39 to include an AD that would apply to Eurocopter Model AS350 
and AS355 helicopters. The NPRM proposed to require inspecting for a 
crack in the control lever attachment yokes, and if needed, replacing 
the TGB. The proposed requirements were intended to prevent a crack in 
the control lever attachment yokes, which could cause a loss of tail 
rotor pitch control, and consequently, loss of control of the 
helicopter.
    The NPRM was prompted by AD No. 2011-0104, dated May 27, 2011, 
issued by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the 
Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, to correct 
an unsafe condition for the Eurocopter Model AS 350 and AS 355 
helicopters. EASA advises that cracks were found on some TGB casing

[[Page 57048]]

assemblies when a dye-penetrant inspection was performed after the 
machining of the control lever attachment yokes. The inspection 
followed the repair of the manufacturing mold. EASA reports that cracks 
in the TGB casing assemblies, if not detected and corrected, could lead 
to a crack on the control lever attachment yokes, which could cause the 
loss of tail rotor pitch control and subsequent loss of control of the 
helicopter.

Comments

    We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing 
this AD, but we received no comments on the NPRM (78 FR 9634, February 
11, 2013).

FAA's Determination

    These helicopters have been approved by the aviation authority of 
France and are approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to 
our bilateral agreement with France, EASA, its technical 
representative, has notified us of the unsafe condition described in 
the EASA AD. We are issuing this AD because we evaluated all 
information provided by EASA and determined the unsafe condition exists 
and is likely to exist or develop on other helicopters of these same 
type designs and that air safety and the public interest require 
adopting the AD requirements as proposed except the reference to the 
Aerospace Material Specification 2647 or equivalent has been removed 
and we are now incorporating by reference procedures for the 
Fluorescent Penetrant Inspection. These changes are consistent with the 
intent of the proposals in the NPRM (78 FR 9634, February 11, 2013) and 
will not increase the economic burden on any operator nor increase the 
scope of the AD.

Differences Between This AD and the EASA AD

    We require inspecting for a crack in the attachment yokes of the 
TGB casing assemblies within 100 hours time-in-service (TIS). EASA 
requires that the inspection be conducted within 26 months or 660 
flight hours if the TGB casing assemblies have less than 550 flight 
hours and within 110 flight hours or 13 months if the TGB casing 
assemblies have 550 or more flight hours. We do not include the Model 
AS350BB helicopter because it is not type certificated in the United 
States, but we do include models AS350C and AS350D1.

Related Service Information

    Eurocopter issued Alert Service Bulletin (ASB) No. AS350-65.00.46 
for Model AS350 helicopters and ASB AS355-65.00.22 for AS355 
helicopters. Both ASBs are Revision 0 and dated May 18, 2011. The ASBs 
call for non-destructive inspections, such as a dye-penetrant 
inspection, to check for cracks in the attachment yokes of the TGB 
casing assemblies. If there is a crack, the ASBs call for replacing the 
TGB with an airworthy TGB and returning the replaced TGB to Eurocopter.

Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this AD affects 693 helicopters of U.S. Registry 
and that labor costs average $85 per work-hour. We estimate that it 
takes two work-hours to inspect TGB casing assemblies for a cost of 
$170 per helicopter, and $117,810 for the U.S. fleet. No parts are 
needed. Replacing the TGB requires five work hours for a labor cost of 
$425. Parts cost $37,825 for a total cost of $38,250 per helicopter.

Authority for This Rulemaking

    Title 49 of the United States Code specifies the FAA's authority to 
issue rules on aviation safety. Subtitle I, section 106, describes the 
authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII: Aviation Programs, 
describes in more detail the scope of the Agency's authority.
    We are issuing this rulemaking under the authority described in 
Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart III, Section 44701: ``General 
requirements.'' Under that section, Congress charges the FAA with 
promoting safe flight of civil aircraft in air commerce by prescribing 
regulations for practices, methods, and procedures the Administrator 
finds necessary for safety in air commerce. This regulation is within 
the scope of that authority because it addresses an unsafe condition 
that is likely to exist or develop on helicopters identified in this 
rulemaking action.

Regulatory Findings

    This AD will not have federalism implications under Executive Order 
13132. This AD will not have a substantial direct effect on the States, 
on the relationship between the national government and the States, or 
on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various 
levels of government.
    For the reasons discussed above, I certify that this AD:
    (1) Is not a ``significant regulatory action'' under Executive 
Order 12866;
    (2) Is not a ``significant rule'' under DOT Regulatory Policies and 
Procedures (44 FR 11034, February 26, 1979);
    (3) Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska to the extent 
that it justifies making a regulatory distinction; and
    (4) Will not have a significant economic impact, positive or 
negative, on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria 
of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.
    We prepared an economic evaluation of the estimated costs to comply 
with this AD and placed it in the AD docket.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

    Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Incorporation by 
reference, Safety.

Adoption of the Amendment

    Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the 
Administrator, the FAA amends 14 CFR part 39 as follows:

PART 39--AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES

0
1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701.


Sec.  39.13  [Amended]

0
2. The FAA amends Sec.  39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness 
directive (AD):

2013-16-03 EUROCOPTER FRANCE HELICOPTERS (EUROCOPTER): Amendment 39-
17541; Docket No. FAA-2013-0119; Directorate Identifier 2011-SW-034-
AD.

(a) Applicability

    This AD applies to Eurocopter AS350C, D, D1, B, BA, B1, B2, and 
B3; and AS355E, F, F1, F2, N, and NP helicopters, with a tailrotor 
gearbox (TGB) casing assembly, part number (P/N) 350A33-1090-02 and 
serial number (S/N) MA47577, MA47585, MA47587 through MA47593, 
MA47597 through MA47600, MA47602, MA47604, MA47606, MA47610, 
MA47613, MA47615, MA47617, MA47619 through MA47624, MA47626, 
MA47628, or MA47631 installed, certificated in any category.

(b) Unsafe Condition

    This AD defines the unsafe condition as a crack in the control 
lever attachment yoke of the TGB casing assembly, which could result 
in loss of tail rotor pitch control and loss of helicopter control.

(c) Effective Date

    This AD becomes effective October 22, 2013.

(d) Compliance

    You are responsible for performing each action required by this 
AD within the specified compliance time unless it has already been 
accomplished prior to that time.

(e) Required Actions

    Within 100 hours time-in-service:
    (1) Remove the control lever, as depicted in Figure 1, item (b), 
of Eurocopter Alert Service Bulletin (ASB) No. AS350-65.00.46

[[Page 57049]]

or No. AS355-65.00.22, both Revision 0 and both dated May 18, 2011, 
as applicable for your model helicopter.
    (2) Strip the paint from the TGB control lever attachment yokes, 
as depicted in Figure 2, item (z), of the ASB No. AS350-65.00.46 or 
No. AS355-65.00.22, as applicable to your model helicopter.
    (3) Perform a Fluorescent Penetrant Inspection (FPI) in 
accordance with paragraph 3.B.2 of ASB No. AS350-65.00.46 or No. 
AS355-65.00.22, as applicable to your model helicopter, on the TGB 
control lever attachment yokes for a crack. You are only required to 
follow the actions defined in this ASB paragraph pertaining to the 
FPI.
    (4) If a crack exists, before further flight, replace the TGB 
with an airworthy TGB.
    (5) If there is no crack, clean the inspected area and apply 
chemical conversion coating (Alodine 1200 or equivalent), Epoxy 
primer, and top coat paint.

(f) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, Safety Management Group, FAA, may approve AMOCs 
for this AD. Send your proposal to: Robert Grant, Aviation Safety 
Engineer, Safety Management Group, FAA, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Fort 
Worth, Texas 76137; telephone 817-222-5328; email 
robert.grant@faa.gov.
    (2) For operations conducted under a 14 CFR part 119 operating 
certificate or under 14 CFR part 91, subpart K, we suggest that you 
notify your principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, 
the manager of the local flight standards district office or 
certificate holding district office, before operating any aircraft 
complying with this AD through an AMOC.

(g) Additional Information

    The subject of this AD is addressed in European Aviation Safety 
Agency AD No. 2011-0104, dated May 27, 2011. You may view the EASA 
AD at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating it in 
Docket No. FAA-2013-0119.

(h) Subject

    Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 6520, Tail Rotor 
Gearbox.

(i) Material Incorporated by Reference

    (1) The Director of the Federal Register approved the 
incorporation by reference (IBR) of the service information listed 
in this paragraph under 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51.
    (2) You must use this service information as applicable to do 
the actions required by this AD, unless the AD specifies otherwise.
    (i) Eurocopter Alert Service Bulletin No. AS350-65.00.46, 
Revision 0, dated May 18, 2011.
    (ii) Eurocopter Alert Service Bulletin No. AS355-65.00.22, 
Revision 0, May 18, 2011.
    (3) For Eurocopter service information identified in this AD, 
contact American Eurocopter Corporation, 2701 N Forum Drive, Grand 
Prairie, TX 75052; telephone (972) 641-0000 or (800) 232-0323; fax 
(972) 641-3775; or at http://www.eurocopter.com/techpub.
    (4) You may view this service information at FAA, Office of the 
Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Room 663, 
Fort Worth, Texas 76137. For information on the availability of this 
material at the FAA, call (817) 222-5110.
    (5) You may view this service information that is incorporated 
by reference at the National Archives and Records Administration 
(NARA). For information on the availability of this material at 
NARA, call (202) 741-6030, or go to: http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/cfr/ibr-locations.html.

    Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on July 26, 2013.
Kim Smith,
Directorate Manager, Rotorcraft Directorate, Aircraft Certification 
Service.
[FR Doc. 2013-22295 Filed 9-16-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P